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Frankenstein
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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (charlotte_mecklenburg_library) | 13 comments Discuss the positive and negative influence technology has in our current society. Should there be limits on accessibility and usage when it comes to science and creating life? Do you think Victor was "playing God" when it came to creating the monster?


message 2: by Cordelia (last edited Oct 17, 2016 12:17PM) (new) - added it

Cordelia Anderson | 8 comments Yes, he was definitely playing God. The pursuit of scientific advancement needs to be guided by ethics, not just the pursuit of knowledge.

Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. And it's important to think through the consequences. She was writing in a time when science, medicine and other fields were in their adolescence – that impulsive period when you don't fully grasp the consequences of your actions.

I recently saw a 60 minutes show on artificial intelligence, and it felt like a parallel to this story. These people are in a race to create artificial intelligence that surpasses human intelligence, but it's unclear to me whether they have thought through all of the ethics and potential consequences. It's a little scary.

I grew up around scientists, and I'm constantly urging my kids to learn and understand science. I think there's so much potential good that we can do if we are guided by the right principles!


message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Thornberry | 5 comments You know, I don't think he set out to "play God" any more than modern scientists do. He was most definitely laser-focused (forgive the anachronism) on what he wanted to do to the exclusion of all else. It wasn't until he accomplished his goal that he started to realize the implications of what he had done. Sort of like the various scientists that were involved in the Manhattan Project. "We've done it! Uh, oh. Now we've done it."

Victor's greatest "sin" wasn't in creating life (though, as he tells it, that's the basis of his remorse), it was in failing to take responsibility for it. He runs from it, literally abandoning it in the middle of the night and afterwards refers to it as "fiend", "daemon" and "monster". A moral lesson less about the use and/or misuse of science than a more ageless one about regretful paternity, perhaps? Creating life is pretty easy. Dealing with one's creation is a different story.

While "Frankenstein" is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel, there's really very little science in it. The actual process is never described. The creation of "the monster" just sort of happens. Also, there was electricity involved.


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